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Richard Reiff 07-27-2010 12:20 AM

OK< so we all need a paddle wheel fix
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Can't wait for an overnight river boat cruise with a paddle wheeler? Well, it may not be steam powered, but try Austraila and the Murray Princes. Here you can experiance a parallel universe version of the DQ/MQ/AQ, sleep overnight, and watch the shore line move by at 12 mph. Diesel powered and hydraulic driven, the owner took a trip on the AQ or MQ many years ago and came back to build the Murray Princes. Although is holds only 85 or so passengers, it is scaled just right for the Murray River. Most passengers are picked up by bus at nearby Adelaide (about 40 miles away) and driven to Murray Bridge or another nearby site.

Attention DQ fans...The MP does not run at night, so perhaps here is a model for future operations until we get congress to get some sense.

While in Australia, for the steam fix try Echuca on the Murray River. Echuca is about 2 hours drive north of Melborne, and features a half dozen or so steam powered side wheelers of various sizes. Sorry all the photos at Echuca were taken years ago on slides and I have yet to get a decent scanner.

Following are of the MP at or near the journey starting point north of Murray Bridge:
1. About to board
2, 3. Internal from the stern lounge. Great place to view the river, but the hydraulic drive was a bit distracting.

Richard Reiff 07-27-2010 12:24 AM

more from the MP
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Here are some from the journey

1. Looking back....only thing missing is flying a kite!
2. The captains wheel
3. It's not the Texas Bar, but the beer was cold.

Richard Reiff 07-27-2010 12:28 AM

MP and some shore leave photos
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Just like the DQ/MQ/AQ, you do get some shore trips. However, in Australia, some of the towns have zero population...

Richard Reiff 07-27-2010 12:34 AM

Sometimes shore leave is not an option
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The MP carries a small "tender" outboard powered to help getting crews to shore for setting lines, etc. One day on the trip they offer rides while going down the river. Each "volunteer" passenger must wear a life jacket, and you get to board the small boat while it is tied onto the MP, all while skimming along at 15 mph. Now, 15 mph may seem slow, but try boarding one of these small boats after a few beers...

1. A volunteer in line (Pat Duffy)
2. The boat about to depart
3. Catching up to the MP, about to pass.

Richard Reiff 07-27-2010 12:38 AM

One more from the ride, another shore stop, contest winnners
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Last photo...One night they had a costume contest...We dressed up as DQ deck hands, and won....

Richard Reiff 07-27-2010 12:41 AM

Lots of other things to see
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There are a lot of private and restored side paddle wheelers to be seen. Here are just a few..

Richard Reiff 07-27-2010 12:43 AM

One more side wheeler, then on to Murray Bridge
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This side wheeler is now a museum.

A few shots taken chasing the MP by car.

Richard Reiff 07-27-2010 12:46 AM

away she goes, stacks down
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Power lines in the distance require the fake stacks to be lowered...

Richard Reiff 07-27-2010 12:50 AM

Last post...
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I really want to ride on the Ohio/Mississippi paddle wheel

Richard Reiff 07-27-2010 12:51 AM

Forgot, the one thing I told the captain..
They need to paint the paddlewheel RED....

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